The kind of thing we are and the dignity we have tell us that as “made in the image and likeness of God” we are made by and for love. That we are happy only by a sincere gift of ourselves so that others can live specifies that love. We find true fulfillment when we give of ourselves in service of life. Love and life become two ends which we pursue in all of the most important things. Love and life go together. Love and life can’t be separated without doing damage to one or the other or very often both.
So if we have discovered that love and life flow from these two truths about the kind of thing we are and the way that we are happy, then keeping love and life together ensures the best possible chance at anyone’s happiness.
Our dignity bespeaks love. Our happiness requires us to serve life. Ultimately love and life are going to be two necessary sides of the same coin if we are going to reach our full potential and achieve the fulfillment and happiness that we are meant for.
Some examples are easier for us to see. Certainly in my life as a priest, I will be happy to the extent that out of selfless love I spend myself so that everyone around me can grow in life and holiness. Selfish acts on my part will hinder that growth in life and holiness in others. I have mentioned the example of families, the selfishness that we sometimes suffer from, does hurt the flourishing of our families. When I act for my own interests instead of the interests of others, I do damage to the flourishing of others.
All this is a way of restating that love and life go together like the dignity we have and the happiness that we called to which is expressed as a sincere gift of ourselves so that others can live.
Last Week’s Homily Suggestion: I suggested that we dig up our confirmation names and learn something about the saints we chose. Or, we could learn something about a saint that we know of or find curious or attractive. These are signs that those saints are already praying for you, acting as your protectors and interceding on your behalf.